Wordless Wednesday

The beauty of the dead tree

A tree stump in the banks of Königsee, Bavaria

The moment they fall to the ground and uprooted, does it mean they´re totally done with life? Is there actually beauty in a dead tree?

Fallen, but not forgotten #treeSquares

While everyone else is crazy squaring and displaying their perfect, beautiful, green and colorful trees, I tought I might share that it´s still wonderful to ponder on the wonders of a dead tree.

It´s ain´t totally dead yet– dead trees may not be the most attractive part of a forest, they are essential to its health. As dead wood is decomposed (by fungi, bacteria and other life forms) it aids new plant growth by returning important nutrients to the ecosystem… or simply a wildlife nesting site.

“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish…”

-Munia Khan

My entry for Becky´s July #Treesquares Challenge.

Looking forward for your feedback. Until then, Tschüss!

FOTD :The Flower for only one day- Pitaya or (Dragon fruit)

Close up of a Dragon Fruit

Have you ever tasted a Dragon fruit ? In Asia, they called it Pitaya.First time that I ever tasted Dragon fruit was when I was still living in Kuwait.I never knew that It has a preety flower as well.I kinda loved it´s taste but here in Germany, it´s really expensive and it doesn´t taste as good as the ones I´ve had before.Good thing is, in the Philippines, dragon fruit farm is booming!

And since we´re talking not only about the fruit itself, let me share something unique about it´s flower, the one thing that is unique about Hylocereus Flower ;

Dragon fruit flower only blooms at night and wilts during the day. That´s why it was named “Night blooming Cereus ” or “Belle of the Night” , “Queen of the Night” and “Moonflower”. The flower itself is unique—so is the fruit. Meaning Dragon fruit cactus is a night blooming plant and the flowers last only one evening.If you are thinking of having a Dragon plant yourself, remember that most dragon fruit plants won’t bloom for at least a couple of years.

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit, also known as Pitaya or Pitahaya. I was always been curious of it´s appearance. It´s skin has so many layers but they are soft compared to our other exotic native tropical fruits like Jackfruit and Durian.This fruit is most commonly grown in Central America, South America and Asia. In Philippines, it thrives so well, probably because of its tropical climate. It grows on cacti, and could reach up to 6 meters high! The peel is pink or yellow with green leaves. Inside is white or purple pulp with edible black seeds. The flesh of the dragon fruit is white with tiny black edible seeds, with a texture much like that of a kiwi—soft, juicy, and a bit grainy, with a sweet-citrusy taste.

Tropically unique right?

But have you ever wondered why it´s called Dragon Fruit?

According to legend, mythical creatures that breathe fire have created this fruit. During the battle of the dragon, the last thing that came out from his brething fire mouth was the dragon fruit. When the dragon was killed, the fruit was gathered and presented to the Emperor as a symbol of victory.

Dragon fruit Farm in Tagaytay City, Philippines
Pretty lovely flowers “Belle of the Night”

Dragon Fruit is also called thang loy in Thailand, pitahayah in Israel, and Paniniokapunahou in Hawaii:

This post is inspired by Cee´s Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD).Thank you once again Cee for this inspiration.

Always lovely to hear your feedback. Until then, Tschüss!

Sunset in Kuwait

One fine Sunset in Kuwait

Wordless Wednesday

A Tree for TreeArt´s sake / TreeSquares

A Tree art in the Netherlands

This is my entry for today for Becky´s #Squares challenge, TreeSquares. She said it so right, Art is the Tree of Life indeed and this lovely aesthetic tree is just like that.

If you´d like to see more of the special trees I have seen, you can enjoy some fascinating TreeArt and some kind of unique trees that have been specially grown in the desert using a Cocoon Box, its quite amazing!

Until then, Tschüss!

Poker faces or some kind of Tree Art?

Poker face or Tree Art?

I saw these exhibition near the Maki-Reich inside the Orchideeen Hoeve in the Netherlands. I forgot the name of the artists but I really love looking at these poker faces.They are hard tree barks but somehow the artist played with it skillfully. The facial expressions are so unique and it really gleamed when the spotlight is directed to it.

I see some faces
I see double smiling faces
Hmm, horses out of tree trunks?

What do you think of these TreeArt?

This is my entry today for #TreeSquares ,inspired by Becky´s TreeSquare challenge for July.

Guten Appetit, the flavours of Bavaria

Warning spoilers:

This is not a Foodie Blog. I am not a Foodie but I do love a good, warm meal. This post is all about what I have been tasting around while living here in the southern part of Germany, Bayern, or locally known as Bavaria. Sometimes I think that Bavaria is another land, because it is so much different from different parts of Germany, in many aspects.

Anyway,from an expat view, here´s what you can expect to taste if you happen to visit Bavaria, either for business or pleasure. Of course, food comes along always from many different reasons. From navigating and exploring all the nature wonders, lakes and German castles and palaces—people would eventually take a break, and sit together to enjoy a meal. What is a typical Bavarian meal?

In German, we call Food as “Essen“. We say ” Mahlzeit, or “ Guten Appetit ” before eating, it means like “enjoy your meal” or simply enjoy eating .Germans eat normally 3 meals a day, plus there´s something in between small meals like Brotzeit, ( Bread) and ” Kaffee und Kuchen” -or Coffee and Cake.

Beer is unanimously enjoyed while eating traditional Bavarian dishes in restaurant or in Beer gardens.

Major meals during the day are ” Frühstuck“, (Breakfast), Mittagessen ( or Lunch) and Abendessen or (Dinner, also called as Abendbrot).Here in Bavaria, there´s also a famous delicacy for breakfast. It´s the Weißwürst with Breze, a white sausage eaten with freshly baked Pretzel and with sweet mustard. It´s being served only until 11 o´clock and can be eaten in weekend food stalls or in restaurants. Others enjoyed it with Beer as well.I have never tried it myself since I am not really a big fan of sausages.

Germans are bread lovers . They do eat LOTs of Bread.

They dont mind too much carbs.They adore their hard crusted buns, croissants, and dark loafs or Dinkel.

Eating bread almost every day was really a shock to me. I am used to eat rice 3x a day before, but coming here, my taste buds were altered. At first I find their buns so hard, sturdy and I can even throw it like a stone. I grew up having soft breads and toasts so I can´t believed it that now, I got used to eating bread as well for lunch or dinner. There are so many different kinds of bread here, almost more than a thousand varieties!

I try other kinds once in a while when I´m in the bakery to discover new flavors. In every kilometer is a nearby Bakery (or Bäckerei) which sells different kinds of rolls, dark breads with lots of seeds, and even gluten -frei ones and they are open everyday as early as 7 o´clock up to 6 o´clock in the evening.

If you´re in Bavaria, you will definitely see a lot of Beer garden culture. People loved to meet in here, with friends and family, special occasions, watch football or just leisurely idle away on Silent sundays. Yesterday I was in a Beergarden and there´s a special dish from Yugoslavia. We tried the “Pola-Pola” which made of meat in skewers,Cevapcici, fresh salads and rice with sauce. It totally delicious!

Below is a typical huge platter here in Bavaria. For bigger groups and families, they prefer a big servings consisting of sliced hams, bacon ( or Schinken), breads, slices of fresh salads, tomatoes, radishes and fruits cuts like melons. This is very tasty and I specially loved the spreads and Ementaler cheese.

Of course, Bavarian dish is not complete without Sausages. Just like Breads, there are thousands variants of Sausages. I am not so fond of eating them. Only some occasional Bratwürst when we do BBQ´s and the curry wurst that my daughter love.So when you come to Bavaria or anywhere in Germany, you will definitely see some Sausages in the menu. To fully experience Bavarian food, you´ve gotta try eating Wursts at least!

A 800+ old sausage tradition in Nürnberg

Other famous Bavarian dishes are Schnitzel, Gulasch, a pork or beef stew with dark sauce ,Rouladen (rolled meat) Knödel or a ball made up of some kind of noodle and their Spätzle. Bavarian food is commonly paired with potatoes, (fried or cooked), and side dishes of Sauerkraut and fresh Salad mixes.

Schnitzel, a mainstay in Bavarian menus

I was introduced to Spätzle and we loved it. Our favourite local restaurant to go is the Weißbrauhaus zum Herrenbrau and they really served delicious dishes. Spätzle taste like noodles or pasta, only that the form is smaller and either it is fried or cooked with mushrooms and onions,we loved them both.

Bavarians loved to enjoy sitting in restaurants and eating out. Over here, there are lots of restaurants and some Asian restaurants as well, but not really arabic ones.Young people loved to snack on Döner Kebabs and sausages with a bun.

My plate is full !

Most of Bavarian sweet desserts are made of traditional cakes and pastries. A local version of Kaisersmarrn is always a good choice served with apple sauce, vanilla ice cream or berries.Over here, we love trying their different fruit cakes ( or Blechkuchen) and Apfel strudel with vanilla ice cream.German desserts is also notorious for using many heavy creams and mascarpone with their Bayerische creme top with pistashios and fruit slices.

I noticed that Germans ( or rather Bavarians) loved their cakes to have almonds and always fruity and not so much icing. Some other variants are Mohnkuchen ( Poppy seeds) cakes, Quarkbällchen, Schwartzwald Torte ( Black Forest ), Marmor Kuchen and many types of Pudding.I find their version of cheesecake made with sour cream also better than oversweetened ones.

The undisputed taste of Kaisersmarrn

Aside from frequenting to sit in Cafés and restaurants to enjoy Coffe and Cake, people around here also loved baking at home. Honestly,I have learned to baked many goodies since I came here. In Supermarkets, you can find different kinds of baking inspirations to make your own dessert or something for birthdays.I have learned the value of homemade cakes .This is so different from the culture that I´ve grown up where everything about cakes and pastries can easily be bought in store.

Then there´s this thing we called “Abendbrot”. When we don´t have a big appetite for dinner, we opt to eat soup and bread, or simply bread slices with some fresh cheese, ham or bacon slices, or with tomatoes. It is a light meal at night.

A piece of Abendbrot
Life of a third culture Kid growing up with German Breads

One thing worth of mentioning is all about customer service in Germany.They don´t have it. I have the impression that service is quite dull and very cold. They are not the ones who would greet you gladly and cater to you in the most approriate way. They are very direct and I guess, it´s just the way they are. Most restaurants accepts payments by card ( esp. during Corona times ) or less contact, but then in many areas, paying with cash is always preffered.

I have discovered new dishes since I came here and I eventually have learned to cooked them. I must say that I have finally got a taste of German Culture, both gastronomically, and culturally.I haven´t actually tried any unique street food here since street food vendors are not so common here.

Have you ever tasted German or Bavarian dishes? How was your experience?

How to say Hello in Bavaria

Is the grass really greener in Bavaria?

Prost, how I learned to drink Beer in Germany

Germany, more than Dirndls and Lederhosen

Until then on my next expat adventure! Tschüss!

Expat wanderings with Art + Forms /PPAC

The Blue Art project which features Blue colored sheeps which I really find so unique and fabulous,plus, they are a big hit for kiddos! If you wanna know more about them, check it out here on my other Post.

Public arts and nature are some of my favourite subject to photograph. Whether I have a proper camera or just my Iphone in my hand, I always made an effort to take a photo that pleases my eye. I dunno, but I really enjoy taking photos of them.Here are some snaps of my random favourites of my expat wanderings .

Who says Beer Gardens should be utterly boring? Not so, in fact, some take us all the way to Middle ages where Knights are having the privilege of having a drink after a bloody fight.

What do you think of this Knight? Probably he loves the Bavarian Biergarten culture so Prost!

Another headturner when did a hike in the area of Riedenburg and Essing is this Mural, a very sassy Ritter (or Knight) with a beer Mug , hugging a Beer barrel .Perfect theme for a Beer garden near a Middle Age castle.

And what about painted cows from 3 different countries?

Of course, we live in Germany so this famous Fraternal Kiss (Bruderkuss) should make it to PPAC Challenge!
my God, help me to survive this deadly Kiss ” located in the East Side Gallery in Berlin, done by Dmitri Vrubel
Meantime, while in Berlin, we did wall bombing with this little rascal which plays my travel Buddy.

And who says Market halls should be boring? I don´t think so. This giant hall “Markthalle” in Rotherdam, Netherlands is super cool. The market hall is painted and is somewhat famous called as the “ Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam“.The artwork shows strongly enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects.

Markthalle in Rotterdam, Netherlands

And what about this humungous sculpture in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam? This unique sculpture of black mice by New York artist KAWS for the ArtZuid exhibition on Museumplein square, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Black Mice sculpture in Amsterdam, by New York artist , KAWS

And here´s some dramatic statues I have seen in Nürnberg here in Bavaria. The amusing yet pragmatic images of the Bittersweet marriage Carousel (Ehekarussell) —which depicts the happiness, horror , tragedy of Marriage. Quite interesting and well done.It is actually a fountain with these large statues and a famous attraction in the city.

Bittersweet Marriage Carousel in Nürnberg, Bavaria, Deutschland; work by Jürgen Weber
Bittersweet Marriage Carousel in Nürnberg, Bavaria , by Jürgen Weber

While exploring Nürnberg, I stumbled upon this another unique lpublic Art. Das Narrenschiff. A 3.6-meter-high bronze sculpture of a boat with seven people, a skeleton and a dog in it. The sculpture is based on Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut illustrating the 1497 edition of Das Narrenschiff (first edition 1494 ) by Sebastian Brant (1457-1521). It depicts a boat – a nutshell with two fools masks at front and rear – as a metaphor for the threatened world.

La Tour de Schmierage, Ingolstadt
Graffiti Art in Ingolstadt

I took a bike ride last week and spotted this new Grafitti art just a few kilometers from home. Medusa is everlasting, it´s already the 21st century, pandemic times and she´s still soaring? So much respect for the whole project of the Le Grande Schmierage .They really did a great job painting the walls of our city.

Sculpture spotted while I was walking along the beach in Kuwait

Lastly, a tribute from my last visit to Manila, Philippines where I´ve seen this Contour Sculpture done by Filipino American artist Jefre Figueras.This red carabao sculpture stands for hard work and strength.This and other giant animal sculptures of the Philippine Eagle, Tarsier and the Rooster are all located in SM Aura Sky park deck in Manila.

Do you also have a favourite Public Art from where you live?

What kind of Public Art have you viewed lately?

This post is inspired by Cee´s PPAC; Photographing Public Art Challenge with her co-host Marsha Ingrao of Always Write. These two amazing ladies are really worth of praise.Do check their pages to grab some inspiration, perhaps you might tempjted to join this fun challenge…after all, sharing is caring!

Until then, be safe everyone. Tschüss.

Knitfiti :The mystery of Yarn Bombing

I first saw these trees wrapped in yarn from last year´s Winter. We did a lot of walking and stroll during lockdown so we actually discovered many nooks and crooks of our neighborhood. One thing caught our attention : Trees behind the Museum für Konkrete Kunst (Museum of Concrete Art) and in the area facing the Viktualienmark are covered with colorful and intricate knittings!As I was running early this morning, these trees caught my attention once again and gave me an idea–Hey, this can make it to Becky´s #TreeSquares, after all, they are trees!

Whenever I see something with art, colorful and unique, I need to check it out.I thought, how unique, creative and beautiful is this idea. It was a wonderful idea to display the creativity of the knitters of Ingolstadt.

But then, are there any other reasons or good cause behind it?

My daughter said ” Mama, maybe the trees get cold too, so they need to cover up when it´s cold..” I nodded and agree.

But what is actually Yarn Bombing?

Yarn bombing in Ingolstadt

yarn bombings main motivation is to bring life, warmth, and a feeling of belonging and community”

Yarn bombing or Knitfiti is actually the practice of using knitted or crochet yarn to cover (typically public) objects – is just one example of a range of new and creative forms of activism.It´s also called as Guerilla knitting, Urban Knitting or yarn storming.It can be anything, like bike stands, or anything of public use and property. This agenda is attributed to Magda Sayeg,who on 2005 covered her door shop handle with a custom-made cozy.Joann Matvichuk of  Lethbridge, Alberta, founded the International yarn Bombing Day, which was first observed on 11 of June,2011

Over here in Bavaria,the initiative of Tree yarn bombing in my city was presented by the Free Voters organization and local community to express their form of protest against clearing of the trees, preservation of the small city park and building of a Kammerspiele.The focus of the consideration is something to do with the renovation of the City Theater and better consideration for the artists.

So I guess, yarn bombing is actually have to do something about a cause–a reason or something to protect on.At present , there are total of 13 trees that are already “wrapped” with these artistically knitted yarns .The yarn used is approx. 60 kgs .Most of the Knitters are done by women so I guess this is a showcase of how many talented knitters we have here .I even have a colleague who happened to learned knitting during Corona Lockdown only through watching You tube tutorials…what a talent!

The thing is, it is not clear until when these trees will be wrapped in yarn. Nowadays, we have more rainy days than sunny days , it is summer and it´s really crazy weather.So I was thinking that the longer that these trees will be clothed with yarn, then it might start to create molds–which means, pests can nest in and eventually cause damage on the trees.

Do you think Yarn bombing is purely for aesthetics purposes only or not?

“properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn´t hurt the untroubled spirit either….

-Elizabeth Zimmerman,´Knitting without Tears´

I grew up seeing one of my Aunt doing ridiculously good knitting and this was captured by her daughter. I think knitting is a passionate hobby. It can even turn into a source of income. But knitting for a cause–is yet another mystery.

What do you think?

Happy weekend, until then, Tschüss!